BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS WEEK...


CLIMATE CHANGE SHIFTS PATH OF TYPHOONS TO LOWER LATITUDES


MANILA, Philippines - Most of the typhoons that hit the Philippines last year followed the Pacific-Visayas-West Philippine Sea path, an indication the country’s traditional typhoon belt has shifted. This was according to recent international, regional and national fora that tackled climate change and the typhoons it spawned. The latest was the Second International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia 2014 organized by SEARCA and co-sponsored by 16 global, Asian, and national institutions and organizations held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City last November. READ FULL REPORT BY RUDY FERNANDEZ...

ALSO: Finally, good news from Ninoy Aquino International Airport... but...


It has finally happened. I have been writing about this need for years. CAAP has inaugurated a state of the art Eurocat 200 air traffic and navigational system at NAIA. We needed a new system like this ages ago to replace our outdated system. But the project was unreasonably delayed by then DOTC Sec Mar Roxas.

Former CAAP director general Ramon Gutierrez, in a conversation I had with him, emphasized the need for this upgrade way back in 2012. But Gutierrez lamented that the rules for doing anything in government are just too cumbersome and political. Here is how I reported it in this column April 2, 2012: READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Human Nature’s social enterprise gets FedEx boost


Human Nature supports local farming communities by providing livelihood opportunities. Photo shows Citronella farmers in Bukidnon who received training from Human Nature and Gawad Kalinga’s agro-enterprise program. MANILA, Philippines – When Human Nature founders Dylan Wilk, Anna Meloto-Wilk, and Camille Meloto STARTED the business in 2008, they had a simple goal: establish a social enterprise to help Filipino communities in a sustainable way. They found inspiration while volunteering for Gawad Kalinga, a non-stock, non-profit foundation that builds sustainable communities in marginalized areas. Beyond building houses for the poor, the three imagined running a business for profit while still advocating social development. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Climate change shifts path of typhoons to lower latitudes

MANILA, JANUARY 23, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 15, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


In this Nov. 10, 2013 file photo, residents walk beside a large ship that was washed ashore by strong waves caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in Tacloban City, Leyte. Pope Francis will visit this predominantly Catholic country on Jan. 15-19. Filipino bishops have made environmental concerns a top priority, and Pope Francis will visit survivors of Yolanda, which the government has held up as an example of the extreme weather patterns that may be the result of climate change. AP

MANILA, Philippines - Most of the typhoons that hit the Philippines last year followed the Pacific-Visayas-West Philippine Sea path, an indication the country’s traditional typhoon belt has shifted.

This was according to recent international, regional and national fora that tackled climate change and the typhoons it spawned.

The latest was the Second International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia 2014 organized by SEARCA and co-sponsored by 16 global, Asian, and national institutions and organizations held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City last November.

The ARD2014 PARTICIPANTS – more than 400 scientists, economists, academics, government policymakers, farmer-leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, and other stakeholders – agreed that the “poorest of the poor” fisher folk and farmers are the most vulnerable to climate change.

Records show that 81 to 90 percent of Filipinos are coastal inhabitants, who are also among the country’s most deprived, reported Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority director general Arsenio Balisacan, who is also SEARCA director.

Around 81 to 90 percent of the populations of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines live in coastal areas, Balisacan said. It was almost 100 percent in Brunei Darussalam, 52 percent in Vietnam, and 31 percent in Thailand.

Christel Weller-Molongua of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH said “the future of agriculture in the ASEAN region will be strongly influenced by certain challenges, among them climate change, biodiversity loss, a fast-growing population, and rising pressure on land resources. . . Helping the poor population to become more resilient will be crucial.”

Randy Hautea, global coordinator of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech APPLICATIONS, added that “achieving agricultural and rural development is challenged by limiting agricultural resources, increasing population, and uncertainties in climatic conditions brought about by climate change.”

Appropriate strategies and solutions to overcome these challenges would include policy adjustments, education initiatives, resource management, and development of appropriate and new technologies, he said.

Patricio Faylon, executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development said ARD2014 “may shape the future of agriculture in Southeast Asia, as well as improve the lives of our countrymen in the rural areas.”

Aristeo Portugal of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said the response to Yolanda highlighted the significance of effective cooperation between FAO and the Philippine government.

He said FAO CONTINUES its mandate to fight hunger amid the increasing number of extreme disaster events by taking a collaborative and multidimensional approach to building resilience, enhancing relief response, and implementing comprehensive long-term rehabilitation.


FROM PHILSTAR

Finally, good news from Ninoy Aquino International Airport... but... DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 23, 2015 - 12:00am 0 9 googleplus1 2


BOO CHANCO

It has finally happened. I have been writing about this need for years. CAAP has inaugurated a state of the art Eurocat 200 air traffic and navigational system at NAIA. We needed a new system like this ages ago to replace our outdated system. But the project was unreasonably delayed by then DOTC Sec Mar Roxas.

Former CAAP director general Ramon Gutierrez, in a conversation I had with him, emphasized the need for this upgrade way back in 2012. But Gutierrez lamented that the rules for doing anything in government are just too cumbersome and political. Here is how I reported it in this column April 2, 2012:

“Take a vital piece of equipment that guides planes in our air space as they fly through and as they take off and land. The strategic vision of the international civil aviation community is to achieve integrated global air traffic management through the worldwide implementation of Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM). They are talking of seamless skies… using satellites instead of land based radars.

“Our horse and buggy system, needless to say, needed upgrading a long time ago. We are internationally committed to have this state of the art system by 2015. During her watch, Ate Glue’s minions at DOTC enlisted JICA to help. But it took them too long to get anything done and by the time they signed contracts, the new administration came in.”

I understand why former DOTC Sec Ping de Jesus reviewed the project when he took over. No one can trust the DOTC kapulisan of the Arroyo administration that brought us the ZTE-NBN deal.

After reviewing the contracts, Sec Ping cleared the implementation of the CNS/ATM system before he left office. But when Mar took over, he stopped implementation to study it again. And when I talked with Gutierrez, it was nine months after and nothing was moving.

Gutierrez said that if and when the decision to go is given, the specifications must be redesigned to account for the growth of budget carriers and the adoption of open skies. The system should be able to handle the increased traffic…

We needed that system like as of yesterday. One of the reasons planes have to circle around NAIA and why flights are always delayed with long lines of aircrafts waiting to take-off is because we don’t have a modern system for air traffic control. The delay we experienced certainly has implications to our economy’s competitiveness, something every airline passenger over the last few years have experienced in terms of delayed take-offs and landings.

What was inaugurated this week is a step in the right direction, even if it still is a stop-gap measure. It is not enough. This one is only for Manila. We need the ATM/CNS system to cover the whole country and we won’t have that until the end of 2016. Indeed, I am told, this newly inaugurated P160-million system upgrade may be dismantled when the ATM/CNS comes on line.


SLEEPLESS AIR CONTROLLER IN NAIA

Still, we should be thankful for small miracles. This Eurocat 200 features a computerized air traffic control and management solution that control en route, over flights, arriving, and departing air traffic from as far as 250 nautical miles.

As CAAP director general William Hotchkiss explained, the Eurocat 200 would enable the Philippines to detect any entry of commercial flights into Philippine airspace. It would enable us to bill airlines flying over our airspace, and thus, if we had it earlier, it could have paid for itself too. It could monitor all types of aircraft, either civilian or military.

Hotchkiss explained that “before the upgrade, flights at the NAIA, specially during rainy seasons, are affected by CONTINUOUS outage resulting to flights cancellation or diversion of flights as the ageing system had outlived its lifespan for over 19 years and parts are already obsolete and unavailable for replacement.”

CAAP said the improvement is essential to NAIA operations because the P13-billion next-generation satellite-based Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) project that was signed during the previous administration “was delayed and would not be in place until the end of 2016.”

The old Eurocat had been a serious cause of worry for CAAP. Every time it bogs down, the operational load of air traffic is affected on Philippine airspace. Flight disruptions happen, giving us a terrible reputation for aviation reliability.

I checked my notes and asked informed sources and found out that indeed this new Eurocat 200 is needed to replace our old system. My informed source told me “since 2011 the old Eurocat was always “dying” and if working, some of its monitors were blinking.”

They could no longer get spare parts for the old model so the breakdowns came more often. This new one is only for Manila. It will be replaced in two years by the integrated system of the envisioned ATM/CNS program. The GPS-based ATM/CNS would cover the entire Philippines and has 48 monitoring points.

My expert sources told me Eurocat 200 would certainly improve the manner and the reliability of air traffic control within the Manila airspace. It would also give the air traffic controllers more confidence in handling approaching or departing flights more closely. But it would not increase the capacity of NAIA as this is just one of the elements of a whole system.

“The entire ATM/CNS is a traffic and communication system that will give you more accurate information of arrival, departures, aircraft position at any one time anywhere in the Philippine flight information region,” my source explained. “But the congestion in NAIA is the result of a combination of several factors, but primarily due to runway limitation and terminal design capacity.

“At present, the separation between aircraft movements is 1.5 minutes or 40 per hour. On landing that means the aircraft behind you is only 6 km away and as you slow down for final landing that aircraft is only 4 km away. To try to compress the separation is too risky. There is nothing in the new Eurocat system that removes the risk.

“On departures, the push back time from the terminal is critical to meet your take off slots. A delay in terminal departures destroys the entire SLOT program for that hour and creates a domino effect on the other hours.

“Yes you will hear guys talking about NAIA doing 60/hr on one runway. They are talking through their ears. That is only possible with a multi-runway airport with the correct ICAO design standards. Yes you can bring aircraft movements close to even 20-30 secs separation, but those separations are done in different runways.”

I also confirmed that both the Eurocat 200 and the ATM/CNS system were approved by Sec Ping de Jesus in 2011 because of worries about the reliability of the existing Eurocat. “But when Mar came in, regardless of Ping’s report clearing both projects, he ordered a restudy that took a bit of time.

“The Manila radar has been already put into bid as the one being used now is past its useful life. The Manila radar is also part of the ATM/CNS system that is why it should have been replaced in 2013 as part of the program and just in time for its useful life to end.”

The good news is that air navigational safety has been vastly improved at NAIA with this new Eurocat 200. The bad news is that we have been compromising safety over the last few years with the old unreliable system.

The infuriating thing is that we could have had the new ATM/CNS system up and running sooner if it didn’t take Mar too much time studying what has been studied and approved by his predecessor, Sec Ping de Jesus. We ended up paying a penalty for the delay because the contractor had already been ordered to mobilize and then stopped.

Congratulations to General Hotchkiss for seeing this through. Hopefully, the modernization of air navigation facilities in all our key airports would also happen very soon. Night landing facilities in the provincial airports are also overdue and needed to alleviate the bunching of flights at NAIA during daytime hours, contributing to congestion.

I am somewhat more hopeful that CAAP would deliver because of its competent leadership and the degree of autonomy from DOTC that it had apparently been given. But if it depended on DOTC, the modernization of our airports would have to wait for the next administration. All of DOTC’s non performers must be fired first and new blood introduced if we are to close our transport infrastructure gap.

Boo Chanco’s e-mail address isbchanco@gmail.com.  Follow him on Twitter @boochanco


PHILSTAR

Human Nature’s social enterprise gets FedEx boost (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 19, 2015 - 12:00am 0 10 googleplus0 0


Human Nature supports local farming communities by providing livelihood opportunities. Photo shows Citronella farmers in Bukidnon who received training from Human Nature and Gawad Kalinga’s agro-enterprise program.

MANILA, Philippines – When Human Nature founders Dylan Wilk, Anna Meloto-Wilk, and Camille Meloto STARTED the business in 2008, they had a simple goal: establish a social enterprise to help Filipino communities in a sustainable way.

They found inspiration while volunteering for Gawad Kalinga, a non-stock, non-profit foundation that builds sustainable communities in marginalized areas. Beyond building houses for the poor, the three imagined running a business for profit while still advocating social development.

They began selling genuinely natural yet affordable personal care products using many raw materials that can be grown in the Philippines. The company also trains and employs underprivileged residents from local communities to support their operations. These practices follow Human Nature’s business philosophy of being pro-poor, pro-Philippines and pro-environment.

Six years later, Human Nature CONTINUES its steady growth, attracting Filipino customers with a wide range of products that are available in Human Nature branches, dealer locations, supermarkets, drugstores, and its online store.

The products use ingredients that are grown in the Philippines and are manufactured through environmentally-safe processes. Human Nature also teams up with Gawad Kalinga and other organizations to develop organic farms and other enterprises. These help increase the income of poor communities by creating a market for their products and produce.


Human Nature founders Anna Meloto-Wilk and Dylan Wilk (co-founder Camille Meloto not included in photo) believe progress will come only from love for country. Photo courtesy of Human Nature.

Human Nature’s products have also attracted international customers from all over the world. Since the company ventured into e-commerce with their online store, international interest in Human Nature’s products has grown – a welcome development except for one important concern:

“We noticed that many international customers trying to purchase our products online abandon their carts when they reached the shipping fee page,” SHARED Human Nature International Business Development manager Dia Lacaba. “This is mainly due to high international shipping costs.”

To ensure that the company can bring their products to the international MARKET, Human Nature looked to FedEx for fast, reliable, and specialized solutions to support their shipping requirements. With a network of over 220 countries and territories in the FedEx global network, Human Nature’s online store has seen an increase in customer purchases from countries like Australia, Canada, and the ASEAN region.

Their international business has grown by more than double in 2014 compared to the previous year. The efficiency of delivering orders through International Economy, a reliable and cost-efficient FedEx shipping option has contributed much to this growth.

FedEx’s support reflects the longstanding commitment to elevating the customer experience. By providing Human Nature a trusted, efficient, and cost effective logistics service, FedEx enables customers worldwide to use their proudly Philippine-made products.

FedEx’s role in helping Human Nature expand its international business also has a positive impact on the company’s pro-poor advocacy. As it grows, Human Nature hires more employees from underprivileged communities. Partly due to their growing international business, the company recently opened a new manufacturing plant in Laguna whose workforce is composed mostly of residents from the area.

Beyond logistics services, FedEx also provides Human Nature with additional support through workshops that educate them about shipping and regulatory policies. “We are able to ship products thanks to the services and competitive rates of FedEx, ensuring that we satisfy our most urgent orders,” SHARED Lacaba.

Human Nature hopes to CONTINUE to expand in international markets through the FedEx commitment to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Along with this, Human Nature as a social enterprise will continue to thrive as it grows and benefits more local communities.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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